RetailReady - An AI-powered supply chain compliance engine

RetailReady: The Key to Reducing Errors and Chargebacks in Retail Shipping

What is RetailReady?

RetailReady is an AI-powered supply chain compliance engine designed to streamline and optimize warehouse operations. Founded in 2024 by Elle Smyth and Sarah Hamer, RetailReady addresses the inefficiencies and costly mistakes that arise from traditional manual processes. The start-up, which boasts a team of three, operates under the guidance of group partner Jared Friedman. RetailReady aims to revolutionize the industry by replacing cumbersome paper manuals with an intuitive tablet application, ensuring precise compliance with retailer shipping requirements.

Who Are the Founders of RetailReady?

Elle Smyth

Elle Smyth, Co-Founder of RetailReady, brings a wealth of experience and a passion for solving complex problems in the supply chain industry. An engineering graduate from Duke University, Elle previously worked at BlackRock and Stord, where she honed her skills and deepened her understanding of supply chain operations. Driven by immense curiosity, Elle's journey into entrepreneurship was fueled by her desire to innovate and improve existing processes.

Sarah Hamer

Sarah Hamer, the other Co-Founder of RetailReady, is an industrial engineer who graduated from Georgia Tech. Sarah's career began at Microsoft, but her passion for the fast-paced startup environment led her to Stord, a unicorn supply chain software startup. It was at Stord that Sarah identified significant pain points in retail compliance and met Elle, with whom she shared a vision for a more efficient solution. Together, they embarked on the journey to create RetailReady.

What Problem Does RetailReady Solve?

The Compliance Challenge

Retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Target issue detailed shipping requirements through extensive routing guides that often exceed 100 pages. These guides specify precise packing instructions, such as the exact placement of shipping labels. When warehouse workers fail to adhere to these instructions, it results in non-compliance, leading to hefty fines known as chargebacks. Chargebacks can deduct up to 3% of a brand’s gross invoice amount, costing brands an estimated $40 billion annually.

The Manual Process

The traditional process involves warehouse workers manually referencing these lengthy guides, which is impractical and time-consuming. Mistakes are common, leading to non-compliant shipments. Retailers' warehouse teams also manually check incoming shipments for compliance and record associated fines in spreadsheets. This manual process is not only inefficient but also increases labor costs and the likelihood of errors.

How Does RetailReady Address the Problem?

RetailReady offers a comprehensive solution that eliminates the need for paper manuals and streamlines the compliance process. The key features of RetailReady’s solution include:

Third-Party Logistics (3PLs)

RetailReady’s mobile application is designed to ensure operational shipping compliance. The software ingests retailer routing guides and translates them into step-by-step workflow tasks that warehouse workers can easily follow. This ensures that shipments meet compliance requirements without the need for extensive training or integrations. Additionally, the application provides a visual repository of every order, facilitating dispute resolution.


Brands can utilize RetailReady’s dashboard to gain insights into their own operations or those of their 3PLs. The dashboard allows brands to upload chargebacks, which enhances RetailReady’s model and provides additional validation checks tailored to the brand’s specific needs. This feature helps reduce the incidence of non-compliant shipments and associated fines.


Retailers benefit from RetailReady’s mobile app, which automatically detects and records shipping compliance errors from vendors. This automation speeds up revenue generation by reducing the time spent manually checking for compliance. The app also increases labor efficiency by minimizing the manual effort required for compliance checks.

What Inspired the Creation of RetailReady?

The inspiration for RetailReady stemmed from Elle and Sarah's experiences at Stord. During their tenure at the supply chain unicorn startup, they managed warehouse shipping operations and saw firsthand the reliance on paper manuals for ensuring compliance. These manuals were impractical for everyday use, leading to frequent mistakes and significant chargebacks. Witnessing these challenges motivated Elle and Sarah to develop a more efficient and reliable solution, ultimately leading to the creation of RetailReady.

How Does RetailReady Improve Efficiency in Warehouses?

RetailReady’s tablet application revolutionizes the traditional manual process by providing a digital solution that guides warehouse workers through each step of the packing process. This digital transformation ensures that all shipments comply with retailer requirements, significantly reducing errors and speeding up the packing process. By eliminating the need for paper manuals, RetailReady not only improves efficiency but also enhances the accuracy of compliance checks, thereby minimizing the risk of chargebacks.

What Are the Financial Implications of Using RetailReady?

Cost Savings for Brands

By reducing the incidence of chargebacks, RetailReady helps brands save significant amounts of money. Chargebacks can account for up to 3% of a brand’s gross invoice amount, leading to substantial financial losses. RetailReady’s solution mitigates these losses by ensuring that shipments comply with retailer requirements, thereby avoiding costly fines.

Increased Efficiency for Retailers

For retailers, RetailReady’s application increases labor efficiency by reducing the time spent manually checking for compliance. The automation provided by RetailReady speeds up revenue generation by streamlining the compliance process and minimizing manual effort. The overall result is a more cost-effective and efficient supply chain operation that benefits all stakeholders involved.

How Does RetailReady Facilitate Dispute Resolution?

RetailReady’s visual repository of every order is a critical feature for dispute resolution. In cases where compliance is questioned, the detailed records provided by the app allow for quick and accurate verification of the packing process. This transparency and accuracy help resolve disputes efficiently, reducing the time and resources spent on addressing compliance issues. By providing a clear and accessible record of each shipment, RetailReady ensures that all parties have the information needed to resolve disputes effectively.

What Are the Future Plans for RetailReady?

RetailReady has ambitious plans for the future. The company aims to continue enhancing its application to address more complex compliance requirements and expand its user base. Future developments include integrating more advanced AI features to further streamline warehouse operations and improve accuracy. RetailReady also seeks to form partnerships with more retailers and 3PLs to broaden its impact across the supply chain industry. By continuously innovating and adapting to the needs of its users, RetailReady aims to remain at the forefront of supply chain compliance solutions.

How Can RetailReady Transform the Supply Chain Industry?

RetailReady has the potential to transform the supply chain industry by setting a new standard for compliance and efficiency. Its innovative approach to replacing paper manuals with a digital solution can significantly reduce errors, save costs, and improve operational efficiency. As more brands, 3PLs, and retailers adopt RetailReady, the industry can move towards a more streamlined and error-free future. This transformation benefits all stakeholders, from warehouse workers to brand managers and retailers, by creating a more efficient and reliable supply chain ecosystem.

Why Should Businesses Adopt RetailReady?

Businesses should adopt RetailReady to stay competitive in an increasingly demanding market. Ensuring compliance with retailer requirements is crucial for avoiding costly chargebacks and improving the bottom line. RetailReady’s ease of use and minimal training requirements make it an attractive solution for companies looking to enhance their supply chain operations without significant investment in new infrastructure or extensive training programs. By adopting RetailReady, businesses can achieve greater efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings, positioning themselves for long-term success in the supply chain industry.

Conclusion: The Impact of RetailReady

In summary, RetailReady offers a comprehensive solution to the long-standing problem of supply chain compliance. Its innovative application replaces outdated paper manuals, reducing errors, saving costs, and improving efficiency for all stakeholders in the supply chain. With founders who possess deep industry knowledge and a commitment to solving complex problems, RetailReady is well-positioned to make a significant impact on the supply chain industry. By adopting RetailReady, businesses can ensure compliance, reduce costs, and improve operational efficiency, setting a new standard for excellence in the supply chain ecosystem.